2023’s Biggest SEO Trends
Your plan for 2023 might be to hire an SEO agency to deal with optimizing your content, or you could be attempting to do it on your own. Regardless of the path you’re taking, you still need to be ahead of trends in search engine optimization because they have far-reaching implications for digital marketing in general.
The following are some of the trends in SEO likely to be pertinent in 2023 and things to watch for.
The Zero-Click Page
Around half of all searches will end without a click on a search result that’s organic. This is known as a zero-click search, and it can occur in any search engine.
With more new SERP features available or users accessing widgets that appear along with organic results, zero-click searches are probably going to become even more common.
An example of a search feature that contributes to a zero-click search is the Knowledge Panel or Google’s Direct Answer feature.
Marketers need to work to make sure they’re still getting organic traffic.
If your target keyword already has a SERP feature, like a knowledge panel associated with it, you might want to look at other targets. For example, maybe you add content that’s going to meet the different needs of a user, or you might integrate more long-tail keywords.
If you’re providing value, that’s the ultimate way to work around these features and zero-click searches in a long-term, sustainable way.
The concept of conversational search isn’t necessarily new, but it continues to grow in its importance for sites, businesses, and marketers.
Conversational search is a reference to using natural-sounding phrases and complete sentences in search queries.
It’s also a reference to how those queries are interpreted by a search engine through algorithms that rely on AI.
Most searches in the past were based on phrases. Conversational searches instead use patterns of grammar and syntax that are more similar to how people actually speak. That leads to a more organic search experience.
Consumers are more likely to engage with interactive digital experiences, and that can include conversational search. You need to put these considerations at the forefront of your content planning initiatives.
Conversational search as part of your content planning complicates things a fair amount, but it’s not avoidable.
You need to provide what a searcher is looking for in terms of information immediately.
The best way to do this goes back to something more traditional—know your audience.
Before you create content, think about what the average person might already know about the subject, when and where people are looking for the information, and how it affects their daily life. You also want to consider how someone could end up acting based on the information you’re going to provide and whether the structure you use in your content is going to provide a reader with all the information they need to know.
Being able to answer these questions will position you better to understand your theoretical reader and create a piece of content that’s going to serve them.
From there, you can start more specifically thinking about prioritizing natural language and the inclusion of conversational search terms.
Longform content might be something you need to use more often in 2023 because if you can provide every bit of information or at least most of what someone is looking for, then your page is most likely to make it to the top.
Your content should be natural, touch your audience’s pain points, and avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
When talking about long-form content, we should also touch on passage indexing.
If you feel like you have a lot of long-form content that hasn’t performed the way you wanted it to, you might want to look at passage indexing, which is a natural language processing feature.
Passage indexing will attempt to understand the meaning of every passage on your page.
That means that if there’s a section, even buried deep within a long article, that is going to be relevant to a query, it could show up. It’s like an internal ranking system, and if you have highly structured content, you’re more likely to do well here.
It also indicates Google’s focus on ranking improvements for content that’s holistic. If your content is taking deep looks at topics and trying to address all of the questions of a target user, watch for passage indexing in 2023.
Video SEO and Structured Data
Finally, in SEO, broadly, structured data is any data that’s organized and structured in a certain way on a webpage.
For SEO purposes, it’s tagged, and organized data in groups of texts, helping search engines gain a better understanding of the information’s context so that searchers get accurate results.
The code can tell a browser how information on the site should be organized and then alerts crawlers as to what’s on the page. Then, structured data, which are embedded tags of code throughout the HTML, tell what information should be displayed in SERPs and what the information is meant to represent.
The markups are essentially helping search engines create more informed and relevant searches, and it’s also making your content a candidate for snippets, image or video carousels, and knowledge boxes.
In 2023, video SEO is going to be incredibly important, and now it’s going to have two dedicated structured data elements.
The first is Seek Markup, and the Second is Clip Markup. Each is meant to help key moments of videos show up in search results.
The Key Moments feature is available now for videos you upload on YouTube. Going forward, any platform hosting videos will be able to see benefits from the use of these two new structured data markups.
The Clip Markup will manually tell Google about the timestamps you include in your videos. The Seek Markup is a way to automatically communicate this to Google Search.
To use Clip Markup, you’ll manually let Google know what timestamp and label should be used when displaying your key moments. You have to embed the information in your structured data’s Video Object element.
Seek Video markup is simpler because it tells Google how a URL structure works. Then, in telling that information, Google can automatically display key moments that are identified in your video.